image: Psychology Logo
image: Psychology Logo
image: UW - Madison Logo
image: Psychology Logo
Satisfatory Progress
Retention Decision
The Faculty of the Psychology Department will meet in October of the student's second year to evaluate the student's first year progress and to determine whether he or she should be permitted to continue working toward the Ph.D. This evaluation will be based on:
  1. Performance in core and methodology courses as assessed by the course instructors and by grades.
  2. Performance on the first year project as assessed by the selected committee and by attendees of the First Year Symposium.
  3. The evaluation by the advisor of the student's research aptitude.
Students who are not retained in the program may be allowed to remain for a second year for purposes of completing the Coursework Master's degree (described below).

Departmental Requirements
During their tenure in the department, students shall be judged by the student's area group or mentoring committee to be making satisfactory progress if they have fulfilled the following requirements. Area groups or mentoring committees will review graduate student progress in the spring of each year. At the option of either the student or the area group or mentoring committee [e.g., if the student is having academic difficulties], a student would be reviewed in the Fall semester as well.
  1. Research Requirements: A student will be in a state of unsatisfactory progress if the student is not making satisfactory progress in research as judged by the area group or mentoring committee. The student enters a state of unsatisfactory progress upon notification by the area group or mentoring committee.
  2. Area Group Requirements:
    If a student is, for any reason, judged not to be in a state of satisfactory progress, the student's area group may apply to the Graduate Committee to have the student restored to satisfactory progress. Any decision that a student is in unsatisfactory progress should have been preceded by written warnings to the student that unsatisfactory progress is a possible outcome if the warnings are not heeded. Students and faculty should be aware that University policy does not permit a student to receive ANY support from the University: TA-ship or RA-ship, while in unsatisfactory progress. Any student determined to be making unsatisfactory progress should be given explicit details (including deadlines) for how the student can return to satisfactory progress, and notification that the decision can be appealed to the Graduate Committee and beyond, if desired.
Graduate School Requirements
Graduate School requirements for satisfactory progress, as set out in the Graduate School Handbook and reproduced below.
  1. Grades. Any student's continuation in the Graduate School is at the discretion of the Graduate School, the student's major department, and his/her major professor. The Graduate School requires an average record of B or better in all work (excluding research credits) taken as a graduate student. (Grades of P and S are for this purpose considered to be satisfactory at the B level, grades of Incomplete are considered for this purpose to be unsatisfactory if they are not removed during the next semester of residence.) In special cases the Graduate School permits a student who does not meet this standard to continue on probation upon recommendation of the major professor.
  2. Course work and program. A full-time program is 8 to 12 credits for a semester and 4 to 8 credits for the eight-week summer session. Students may not register for more than 12 graduate credits in the semester or 8 credits in the eight-week summer session. Dissertators are considered full-time with 3 graduate-level credits direcly related to the thesis. Courses carrying graduate credit are those numbered in the 300-699 and 700-999 groups, but the majority of courses in a graduate program are expected to be in the 700-999 group. Students with a 33.33% or 50% TA appointment are considered to be full time by the Registrar if they are enrolled for 6 or 4 graduate credits, respectively. Holders of research assistantships are required to carry a full program of graduate studies during their appointments. A scholar, fellow, or assistant who has passed preliminary examinations, completed the residence requirement for the Ph.D. degree, completed the outside-the-department minor, and completed the major requirements is a dissertator and must carry a program of 3 or more dissertator credits. 

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